Published: 29/06/2015
Union leaders from seven French-speaking West African countries of West Africa came together in Cotonou, Bénin for an IUF sub-regional seminar to develop common strategies for organizing and bargaining within transnational hotel chains. Participants from Bénin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Senegal met from June 25 to 27at the Cotonou Novotel – where the union last year secured a first collective agreement after a long struggle.

Despite the importance of tourism in each of these countries’ economies, none have specific legislation in place to protect tourism workers.  Participants discussed the potential uses of International instruments such as ILO Convention 172 on working conditions in hotels and restaurants and the OECD Guidelines to support organizing, combating sexual harassment in tourism and the IUF global housekeeper initiative and developed a two-year work plan including an organizing focus on hotel chains, negotiating national sectoral agreements and pressuring governments to ratify Convention 172.